13th Century Etiquette

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Theotherone
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13th Century Etiquette

Postby Theotherone » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:01 pm

I'm not exactly sure how this turned up in a mob cap search, but this is about a little book of dining etiquette (well the first chapter is). It's a pleasant little read anyway

http://books.google.com/books?id=K5aVfi ... q=&f=false


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Brother Ranulf
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Postby Brother Ranulf » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:09 am

Fascinating stuff. It has its basis in earlier Anglo-Norman etiquette texts, such as the late 12th century Quisque es in mensa, a very short document of just 23 lines.

It prohibits belching, touching the nose and ears during meals, using a toothpick and elbows on the table; it insists that hands and nails should be clean and the mouth empty and lips wiped before drinking.

John of Garland, about the same period, says that wine should be poured from a jug using both hands and the drinking vessel must be held by its base.

Washing hands before a meal (and again afterwards) was normal practice - servants brought water and towels for diners to use.

The frequent mention of spoons is interesting in the light of earlier discussions on this forum.


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Marcus Woodhouse
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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:13 am

The later 15th century baebes books which discuss table manners mention almost identical "don'tdo's" so people must be dribbling into shared cups, wiping greasy hands on table clothes and clothes, belching, farting and dragging sleeves across dishes for hundreds of years.


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Theotherone
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Postby Theotherone » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:03 am

That struck me too Marcus, and the fact that a quick scan of the next chapter shows that the same advice continues into later centuries - but by then it's OK to sneeze into your hat.

Looking at it there's quite a few little chapters in there worth a visit.


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Marcus Woodhouse
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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:58 am

And descretly using your collar to wipe your nose, sleeves are still a no-no.
A German source makes the point that it is rude to clean your teeth with your dagger-I'd have thought it was bloody stupid anyway.
I have a book called Childhood to Chivalry which has a long chapter on the teaching of manners and does look as if the same thing was said over and over again, indeed long before the 13th century.
The more things change the more they stay the same. :roll:


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Theotherone
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Postby Theotherone » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:07 am

Most of these though seem to be addressed to boys/men. I know there are bits addressing girls/women in The Babees' Book and The Goodman of Paris but are there many others for medieval female manners? How should you accept what your male neighbour at table has carved for you etc?


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Marcus Woodhouse
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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:04 pm

Apparently there were books for ladies as well but because of the sexual inequality that existed they have not survived.


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Karen Larsdatter
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Postby Karen Larsdatter » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:55 pm

Theotherone wrote:are there many others for medieval female manners?

I think De mulieribus claris can be interpreted this way; Boccaccio tells stories and anecdotes about women from history (from Eve all the way up to his own time, including several stories from mythology) and ties each story in to a moral, some life lesson that ladies of his time should learn from each story.

There's a pretty good translation of De mulieribus claris available; it's Famous Women.



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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:32 pm

Like those in the Goodwife of Paris?


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